DPS IDs driver accused of driving into I-17 crash scene, killing motorcyclist & good SamaritanPosted: Updated:
The Department of Public Safety has identified the driver of an SUV they said drove into a crash scene on Interstate 17, killing two people and injuring two more.
"The driver of the vehicle that struck and killed Mrs. Click and Mr. Youngblood and also injured two others has been identified as Brian Higbee, 34 of Phoenix," according to a DPS news release.
The multi-vehicle crash on southbound Interstate 17 at Yorkshire Drive (near Union Hills Drive) happened just after 5 a.m. Monday morning.
According to DPS, it started with a report of a motorcycle down.
DPS officials say that three vehicles stopped to help the motorcyclist.
Afterward, a fourth vehicle came into the scene, striking the bystanders and the motorcyclist.
[SLIDESHOW: From the scene].
The motorcyclist, Johnny Youngblood, 38, and a female bystander, Beverly Click-Chance, 53, were killed.
Two other people were transported to the nearest hospital in critical condition.
Another person was treated but refused transport.
Investigators have not identified any of those people.
[Raw video: DPS briefing on fatal I-17 crash]
Click-Chance's fiance and daughter spoke to our Amanda Goodman Monday night. Although rendered "numb" by her death, they were not surprised that she stopped to help the injured motorcycle rider
"She helped everybody," her fiance, Brian Chance, said. "No matter what it was, she'd go out her way to help people."
Planning to get married in September, the couple had recently bought property in Sun City; their kids and their rescue horses were just getting settled in.
Click-Chance was on her way to work st St. Vincent de Paul when a motorcyclist in front of here on the freeway wiped out. She was one of several good Samaritans to stop and help Youngblood. It cost her her life.
"It wasn't out of the ordinary or her to stop and help somebody that she saw needed help," Chance said.
"She was the best mom," daughter Amanda said. "I couldn't have asked for any better mom."
DPS Trooper Kameron Lee said investigators are ruling out impairment as a factor in the crash.
"What is going to boil down is driver error," he said.
"Most of our collisions are driver error," Lee said. "We are questioning the driver of the vehicle that ran into the scene to figure out exactly what was going on."
Click-Chance's family has a theory about that.
"He had to be distracted by something," Amanda said. "'Cause when you're driving, your eyes should be on the road, not your cell phone. I mean, I drive. I know."
It's not clear what charges Higbee might face.
A separate crash involving a semi-truck that was jackknifed is also causing heavy traffic on the northbound side of the freeway in the same area.
For a time, all I-17 southbound traffic was diverted onto the Loop 101 while northbound traffic was restricted to two lanes.
Two left lanes and the HOV lane at southbound I-17 were reopened after 10:20 a.m.
A GoFundMe account has been set up for Click-Chance's family.
Update: we now understand 2 people in critical condition at local hospitals to add to the 2 confirmed dead on scene https://t.co/4Gicytc9lV— Gibby Parra (@GibbyParra) May 1, 2017
Update double fatal along I-17 near Yorkshire https://t.co/4Gicytc9lV— Gibby Parra (@GibbyParra) May 1, 2017
DPS confirming at least one dead in accident along I17 pic.twitter.com/Mp0nNnsQgO— Gibby Parra (@GibbyParra) May 1, 2017
2nd Update: I-17 NB south of L-101: Middle lane is open now, along with HOV and left lanes. i#phxtraffic— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) May 1, 2017
Update: I-17 NB south of L-101: HOV lane is only clear lane. Others blocked for a crash. #phxtraffic— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) May 1, 2017
Update: I-17 SB closed at L-101. Ramps from L-101 to I-17 closed. I-17 SB diverted onto L-101. I-17 NB crash at L-101 blocking right lanes. pic.twitter.com/eheywbcCtp— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) May 1, 2017
I-17 NB at L-101: Right lanes blocked for a crash. #phxtraffic— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) May 1, 2017
CLOSURE: I-17 SB at L-101. L-101 EB/WB ramps to I-17 closed. I-17 SB diverted onto L-101. #phxtraffic— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) May 1, 2017
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